The Reason You're Alive

The Reason You're Alive

Book - 2017
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The New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook offers a timely novel featuring his most fascinating character yet, a Vietnam vet embarking on a quixotic crusade to track down his nemesis from the war.

After sixty-eight-year-old David Granger crashes his BMW, medical tests reveal a brain tumor that he readily attributes to his wartime Agent Orange exposure. He wakes up from surgery repeating a name no one in his civilian life has ever heard--that of a Native American soldier whom he was once ordered to discipline. David decides to return something precious he long ago stole from the man he now calls Clayton Fire Bear. It may be the only way to find closure in a world increasingly at odds with the one he served to protect. It may also help him to finally recover from his wife's untimely demise.

As David confronts his past to salvage his present, a poignant portrait emerges: that of an opinionated and good-hearted American patriot fighting like hell to stay true to his red, white, and blue heart, even as the country he loves rapidly changes in ways he doesn't always like or understand. Hanging in the balance are Granger's distant art-dealing son, Hank; his adoring seven-year-old granddaughter, Ella; and his best friend, Sue, a Vietnamese American who respects David's fearless sincerity.

Through the controversial, wrenching, and wildly honest David Granger, Matthew Quick offers a no-nonsense but ultimately hopeful view of America's polarized psyche. By turns irascible and hilarious, insightful and inconvenient, David is a complex, wounded, honorable, and loving man. The Reason You're Alive examines how the secrets and debts we carry from our past define us; it also challenges us to look beyond our own prejudices and search for the good in us all.

Publisher: New York : Harper Avenue, [2017]
Edition: First Canadian edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781443453455
Characteristics: 226 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Reason you are alive

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froghair
Oct 18, 2017

RC Bray absolutely nails the protagonist in the audio cd version of The Reason You're Alive--one of the best I've "read". (I just returned it, but for some reason I can't find it in the catalog.)

Michael Colford Sep 28, 2017

Matthew Quicks book are always entertaining. They're also often a little sad, and emotionally powerful. With The Reason You're Alive he has tackled a topic that I would have told you wasn't going to resonate with me, that of a straight-talking, opinionated, right-wing (sort of), sixty-eight-year-old Vietnam Vet, and told a story that surprised, delighted, and moved me in more ways that I would have imagined.

Exploring PSTD, depression, political correctness, and family, Quick's lead character, David Granger, will surprise even the most die-hard liberals. I would love to know what a far-right leaning reader would make of him. David's thoughts on gays, blacks, Asians, artists may start out as somewhat offensive, but they are actually real, and based on the people he knows, not some misguided stereotype. And in contrast with his son Hank's liberal thinking, David's thoughts seem more honest, and even more insightful, because they are shaped from experience, rather than rhetoric.

Bravo to Matthew Quick for writing such an entertaining (I laughed out loud more than once, especially the parts describing gay Timmy and gay Johnny), moving, and insightful novel. This one surprised the heck out of me, the way David ended up surprising his son.

4
4710wipi
Aug 29, 2017

Mathew Quick gives us a small measure of the healing we all still need if we have been touched by war in this poignant and at the same time hilarious tale of the Viet Nam War and its aftermath in the lives of some wonderful and awful Americans.

multcolib_susannel Aug 19, 2017

Whether you love or hate Vietnam Vet David Granger, you won't be able to quit reading his story.

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